Sustainable livestock as a path to the recovery and development of regions in Ukraine

May 14, 2024
Photo: Serhii Oliynyk / UNDP Ukraine

Vinnytsia, Ukraine, 14 May 2024 —The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine with the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) and the Institute of Feed Research and Agriculture of Podillia of NAAS, held a workshop "Sustainable Livestock and Industry Development Prospects" for local farmers and representatives of agro-industrial development.

Sustainable practices, particularly in livestock, involve methods of livestock management that consider climate aspects and environmental care. This approach entails farming with the least permissible impact on the environment — optimizing and reducing feed losses, enhancing animal welfare, proper management of livestock waste, minimizing land degradation and water resource loss, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

During the event, experts shared practical experience of sustainable practices in crop cultivation and livestock, aiming to improve access to international markets for agricultural products produced by Ukrainian farms. They also discussed the challenges and opportunities of sustainable livestock in the context of full-scale invasion.

Energy and Environment portfolio team leader at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, Roman Shakhmatenko, emphasized that the advancement of sustainable livestock holds significant importance for Ukraine, particularly in times of war.

"The establishment of a sustainable food system model in northern Ukraine, which is the main goal of the project, goes far beyond the boundaries of a single region. Balancing agricultural and land use goals and employing best agricultural practices will impact overall food security and mitigate the effects of climate change. With the support of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the world programme FOLUR (Food Systems. Land Use. Restoration), in which Ukraine participates, UNDP will continue to support and promote the country's sustainable development, which plays a crucial role in recovery," he said.

Deputy Director of the Department, Head of the Livestock and Breeding Management of the Department of Agricultural Development at the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Olena Dadus noted that one of the challenges for Ukrainian farmers is the significant reduction in the area suitable for agriculture, a large area of ​​mined or contaminated land, decreased financial capacity of Ukrainian farmers, and as a result, reduced use of plant protection products and fertilizers, which will inevitably lead to reduced yields. This situation will cause an increase in prices for feed for cattle on the domestic market, resulting in a decrease in livestock numbers.

"At present, in the agro-industrial complex, the issue of preserving production is relevant, particularly in the livestock sector, as well as the search for new solutions for the rapid recovery of the industry after the consequences of full-scale invasion. Adaptation to climate change, to new rules introduced as part of the implementation of EU Directives and Regulations, can ensure long-term success for Ukrainian agricultural enterprises, and increase the representation of Ukrainian goods in the EU markets," she summed up.

Director of the Institute of Feed Research and Agriculture of Podillia of NAAS, Oleksandr Korniychuk, emphasized the need for agricultural diversification and urged farmers to carefully choose their area of activity. 

"Even small plots of land, with the right approach, can yield significant results," he said. "To familiarize farmers with the conditions for efficient farming and to see real results, we have established the Agrocamp scientific and educational center, which brings together over 15 mini-farms specializing in livestock farming, vegetable growing, and fruit growing. We are also working to make the center a place for the integration of displaced families and Ukrainian veterans into the agricultural sector." 

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The UNDP project "Promoting Sustainable Livestock Management and Ecosystem Conservation in Northern Ukraine" financially supported by the Global Environmental Facility and expertly supported by the FOLUR (Food Systems. Land Use. Restoration) global program, is being implemented from 2022 to 2026 in seven regions of Ukraine - Volyn, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia, and Chernihiv. The project involves the development of integrated sustainable land use plans; restoration of peatlands and promotion of the implementation of sustainable livestock and crop farming methods (paludiculture); development of agricultural cooperatives; conservation and restoration of natural habitats; development of a measurement, verification, and reporting system to assess and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands.

Requests from the media: Yulia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP in Ukraine, e-mail: